29 December 2008

Christmas Memories in Real Time...

It is late just now. I have a million swirling thoughts, observations and lots of feelings and impressions that are percolating inside of me, but haven't attached themselves to the proper words quite yet. They are steeping, like fine jasmine tea in a tea pot and they are even more ethereal than the exotic aroma of delicate jasmine pearls.

Last week was just all good stuff, from every conceivable angle. All of it. We so enjoyed our visit with Katie Jane from the moment my Dad and I picked her up in Cary, after she and John flew in from New York City, until the last, lingering moments for a few extra snapshots captured in our kitchen, when it was time for them to head back to Cary Saturday Evening, in preparation to fly back to NYC on Sunday Morning.

As Katie and John headed for the northland, I headed upstairs as soon as their car left the driveway and I spilled a few tears. Extrication, even after a joyful time, can be searingly painful. Yet even as my eyes were leaking tears, it felt wrong because it nearly felt like I was complaining and honestly, upon quick reexamination of the past week, I could think of nothing to complain about at all. Not one thing. The fact that the week flew by simply meant that it was just that great because everyone knows that great times fly by.

There's so much in life, in all of our lives, where our current realities are intricately tied to "back stories", which we generally refer to as 'history'; If you've lived any length of time at all, you carry your own "back story", and that history or "herstory", if you want to be gender specific, in some way colors every experience that follows - sometimes boldly, but more often than not, subliminally. It occurred to me that even the rough times in the past years, were valuable because in many ways those times have been essential in that they enhance the wonderful moments and how could we truly appreciate the fine moments without recognizing them for the gifts they are? It would be impossible, wouldn't it?

Christmas 2008 was brimming and rich in sweet times and remarkable not because we did remarkable things; in fact, we did nothing out of the ordinary at all and yet, all of that "ordinariness" made for an extraordinary time. I'm so grateful for things ordinary and extraordinary. For peace. Love. Quietude. More love. The absence of worry and the warmth of contentment which emanates from family, friends, cats and a really fine dog.

There are so many to be grateful to and so much to be grateful for. The essence of the season was more than palpable - having little to do with elegantly wrapped presents, (although the presents were great!), but due much more to elegantly wrapped experiences, time spent together, soaking in each others' company and understanding what an inestimably precious gift it is to know just how blessed we are, in real time, to be sharing our home, our lives and our time with those we love so much. That was Christmas for me.

I hope your Christmas was something like that, too. If it was, then you must know how blessed you are, too.
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